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Hours of Service of Drivers; Pilot Program To Allow Commercial Drivers To Split Sleeper Berth Time

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

Hours of Service of Drivers; Pilot Program To Allow Commercial Drivers To Split Sleeper Berth Time

Daphne Y. Jefferson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
6 June 2017

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 107 (Tuesday, June 6, 2017)]
[Pages 26232-26237]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11642]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0260]

Hours of Service of Drivers; Pilot Program To Allow Commercial 
Drivers To Split Sleeper Berth Time

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: FMCSA proposes a pilot program to allow temporary regulatory 
relief from the Agency's sleeper berth regulation, for a limited number 
of commercial drivers who have a valid commercial driver's license 
(CDL), and who regularly use a sleeper berth to accumulate their 
required 10 hours of non-duty work status. During the pilot program, 
participating drivers would have the option to split their sleeper 
berth time within parameters specified by FMCSA. Driver metrics would 
be collected for the duration of the study, and participants' safety 

[[Page 26233]]

and fatigue levels would be analyzed. This pilot program seeks to 
produce statistically reliable evidence on the question whether split 
sleeper berth time affects driver safety performance and fatigue 
    The Agency proposes criteria for participating drivers and 
carriers, outlines procedural steps and a data collection plan, and 
requests comments on these elements.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 7, 2017. The 
implementation date of the Pilot Program will be announced in 
subsequent Federal Register notices.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2016-0260 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Operations, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submission must include the Agency name and the 
docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the exemption process, see the Public 
Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading 
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the 
online instructions for accessing the dockets, or go to the street 
address listed above.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
    Public Participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is available 
24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can obtain electronic 
submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ``help'' section 
of the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site. If you want us to notify 
you that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope or postcard, or print the acknowledgement page that 
appears after submitting comments online. Comments received after the 
comment closing date will be included in the docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicole Michel, Research Division, 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by email at Nicole.michel@dot.gov, or 
by telephone at 202-366-4354. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone 
(202) 366-9826. Further information will be posted at the Web site for 
the proposed pilot program: www.sleeperberthstudy.com.


I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials. In this notice, FMCSA requests certain information, 
but comments need not be limited to those requests.

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2016-0260), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for 
suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and 
material online, by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only 
one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov, put the 
docket number, ``FMCSA-2016-0260'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and click 
``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on the ``Comment Now!'' 
button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. 
Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on 
behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by 
mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 
8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you 
submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the 
facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or 
envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during 
the comment period.

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this notice as 
being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert the 
docket number, ``FMCSA-2016-0260'' in the ``Keyword'' box and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and choose 
the document listed to review. If you do not have access to the 
Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket 
Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

II. Legal Basis

    On June 9, 1998, the President signed the Transportation Equity Act 
for the 21st Century (TEA-21) (Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107). Section 
4007 of TEA-21 amended 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to authorize the 
Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to grant waivers and exemptions 
from some of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The 
duration of a waiver is limited to 3 months, and the Secretary may 
grant the waiver without requesting public comment. By contrast, an 
exemption may be granted for up to 5 years,\1\ and may be renewed. The 
Secretary must provide the public with an opportunity to comment on 
each exemption prior to granting or denying the request.

    \1\ Changed from 2 years to 5 years by Sec.  5206(a)(3) of the 
Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, effective 
October 1, 2015.

    Section 4007 also authorizes the Secretary to conduct pilot 
programs, which are research studies where one or more exemptions are 
granted to allow for the testing of innovative alternatives to certain 
FMCSRs. FMCSA must publish in the Federal Register a detailed 
description of each pilot program, including the exemptions being 
considered, and provide notice and an opportunity for public comment 
before the effective date of the program. The Agency is required to 
ensure that the safety measures in the pilot programs are designed to 
achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level of safety that would be

[[Page 26234]]

achieved through compliance with the safety regulations. Pilot programs 
are limited to 3 years from the starting date.
    At the conclusion of each pilot program, FMCSA must report to 
Congress its findings, conclusions, and recommendations, including 
suggested amendments to laws and regulations that would enhance motor 
carrier, commercial motor vehicle (CMV), and driver safety, and improve 
compliance with the FMCSRs.
    Section 4007 was implemented as an interim final rule (IFR) that 
created 49 CFR part 381 (63 FR 67600, Dec. 8, 1998). On August 20, 2004 
(69 FR 51589), FMCSA adopted the IFR as a final rule (69 FR 51589). 
Part 381 established procedures to request waivers, apply for 
exemptions, and to propose pilot programs. It also required publishing 
notice of proposed pilot programs in the Federal Register to afford the 
public an opportunity for comment.

III. Background

Earlier Proposals

    In early 2013, FMCSA informally expressed an interest in conducting 
a pilot program to study variations in the types of ``splits'' of the 
required off-duty periods that were allowed when using a sleeper berth. 
In June 2013, the National Association of Small Trucking Companies 
advised that it supported such a study and its members would be willing 
to participate. In December 2013, the American Trucking Associations, 
Inc. and the Minnesota Trucking Association submitted a joint proposal 
for a split sleeper-berth pilot program. FMCSA has developed today's 
proposal based in part on these prior expressions of support and 
interest. FMCSA also took into account new sleep studies and findings 
when developing the proposal to ensure valid results, without 
detrimental safety impacts throughout the program, were reasonably 

Applicable Regulations

    As described in 49 CFR 395.1(g)(1), a driver who operates a 
property-carrying CMV equipped with a sleeper berth \2\ and who uses 
the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in 
the sleeper berth, plus a separate period of 2 consecutive hours either 
in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two, before 
returning to on-duty status.

    \2\ A ``sleeper berth'' is a sleeping compartment installed on a 
CMV that complies with the specifications in 49 CFR 393.76.

    The Flexible Sleeper Berth Pilot Program offers participating 
drivers relief from the requirement for 8 consecutive hours in the 
sleeper berth.

Previous Research

    During listening sessions for the Agency's 2010 notice of proposed 
hours-of-service rulemaking, many drivers said they would like some 
regulatory flexibility (i.e., an exemption from consolidated sleeper 
berth time) to be able to sleep when they get tired or as a 
countermeasure to traffic congestion. Although the Agency's 2011 final 
rule did not include a split sleeper berth option, FMCSA determined 
that the issue should be explored in greater depth. Subsequently, FMCSA 
reviewed the literature and completed its own laboratory study on the 
safety impacts of split sleep.
    The majority of sleep studies to date demonstrate that well-timed 
split sleep has either a positive or no effect on subsequent 
neurobehavioral performance. This supports the theory that the 
restorative effects of sleep on performance may be maintained when 
splitting total sleep time into multiple segments. Further, split sleep 
does not negatively affect daytime neurobehavioral performance when 
compared to a consolidated sleep period of the same total duration. 
Table 1 provides a list of selected studies that support the safety 
benefits of split sleep for transportation operators.

  Table 1--Selected Studies Supporting the Benefits of Split Sleep for
                        Transportation Operators
               Reference                           Description
Thomas G. Raslear , Judith Gertler, and  Study analyzes results from
 Amanda DiFiore (2013): ``Work            five surveys administered
 schedules, sleep, fatigue, and           between 2006 and 2011 and
 accidents in the U.S. railroad           provides a comprehensive
 industry,'' Fatigue: Biomedicine,        description of fatigue in U.S.
 Health & Behavior, 1:1-2, 99-115.        railroad workers employed in
                                          safety-sensitive positions.
Gianluca Ficca, John Axelsson, Daniel    Literature review explores
 J. Mollicone, Vincenzo Muto, Michael     daytime split-sleep schedules
 V. Vitiello (2010): ``Naps, cognition    and their effects on recovery
 and performance,'' Sleep Medicine        (compared with consolidated
 Reviews 14, 249-258.                     sleep schedules) and the
                                          benefits of naps in terms of
                                          wakefulness performance and
Daniel J. Mollicone, Hans P.A. Van       Laboratory study of 93 adults
 Dongen, David F. Dinges (2007):          investigates physiological
 ``Optimizing sleep/wake schedules in     sleep obtained in a range of
 space: Sleep during chronic nocturnal    restricted sleep schedules.
 sleep restriction with and without
 diurnal naps,'' Acta Astronautica 60,
Daniel J. Mollicone, Hans P.A. Van       Laboratory study of 90 adults
 Dongen, Ph.D., Naomi L. Rogers, Ph.D.,   examined feasibility of split-
 and David F. Dinges, Ph.D. (2008):       sleep schedules for astronauts
 ``Response Surface Mapping of            with mission-critical space
 Neurobehavioral Performance: Testing     operations involving
 the Feasibility of Split Sleep           restricted nighttime sleep.
 Schedules for Space Operations,'' Acta
 Astronautica, 63(7-10): 833-840.
J. Horne (2011): ``Obesity and short     Analysis critically examines
 sleep: unlikely bedfellows?,'' Obesity   the link between habitual
 Reviews, 12: e84-e94.                    short sleep and obesity, using
                                          a previously collected data
L. Di Milia, G. Kecklund (2013): ``The   Study estimates the prevalence
 distribution of sleepiness, sleep and    of chronic sleepiness and
 work hours during a long distance        sleep restriction in a sample
 morning trip: A comparison between       of 649 drivers.
 night- and non-night workers,''
 Accident Analysis and Prevention,
Gregory Belenky, M.D., Steven R. Hursh,  Study reviews the literature to
 Ph.D., James Fitzpatrick, Hans P. A.     examine the recuperative value
 Van Dongen, Ph.D. (2008): ``Split        of split versus consolidated
 Sleeper Berth Use and Driver             sleep for performance and
 Performance: A Review of the             applies a mathematical model
 Literature and Application of a          to evaluate the effects on
 Mathematical Model Predicting            performance of 288 sleeper
 Performance from Sleep/Wake History      berth provision compliant and
 and Circadian Phase,'' American          non-compliant schedules.
 Trucking Associations.

[[Page 26235]]

Gregory Belenky, M.D., Melinda L.        In-residence laboratory study
 Jackson, Ph.D., Lindsey Tompkins,        of 53 healthy participants
 Brieann Satterfield, Amy Bender          provides between-group
 (2012): ``Investigation of the Effects   comparisons of nighttime,
 of Split Sleep Schedules on Commercial   split, or daytime sleep across
 Vehicle Driver Safety and Health,''      a 5-day simulated workweek.

    FMCSA sponsored an in-residence laboratory study entitled 
``Investigation of the Effects of Split Sleep Schedules on Commercial 
Vehicle Driver Safety and Health.'' The study was conducted from 
January 2010 through May 2011. A copy of the report is filed in the 
docket identified at the beginning of this notice. Three sleep 
conditions were examined: Consolidated nighttime sleep, split sleep, 
and consolidated daytime sleep. With respect to objectively measured 
sleep, during the 5-day simulated workweek, participants in the 
nighttime condition slept the most (8.4 hours  13.4 
minutes), participants in the daytime condition slept the least (6.4 
hours  15.3 minutes), and participants in the split-sleep 
condition fell somewhere in between (7.16 hours  14.2 
minutes). The study found that consolidated daytime sleep resulted in 
less total sleep time, increased sleepiness, and an increase in blood 
glucose and testosterone at the end of the workweek. However, 
performance was not significantly affected by sleep opportunity 
placement. The findings suggest that, with respect to total sleep time, 
consolidated sleep is better than split sleep if the consolidated sleep 
opportunity is placed at night, but that split sleep is better than 
consolidated sleep if the consolidated sleep opportunity is placed 
during the day. This laboratory study and the studies referenced in 
Table 1 (as well as others) provide the scientific basis for the 
present study.
    Previous sleep studies that have shown detrimental effects caused 
by split sleep are described in Table 2.

  Table 2--Selected Studies Showing Negative Impacts of Split Sleep for
                        Transportation Operators
               Reference                           Description
NTSB (1995). Factors that affect         Study determined that split-
 Fatigue in Heavy Truck Accidents.        shift sleeper berth use
 Volume I: Analysis. Safety Study NTSB    increased the risk of fatality
 Number: SS-95/01, NTIS Number: PB95-     and that duration of last
 917001, Washington, DC.                  sleep as well as continuous
                                          sleep were the most important
                                          predictors of fatigue-related
Hertz, R.P., ``Tractor-Trailer Driver    Study found that CMV driver
 Fatality: The Role of Nonconsecutive     fatality was significantly
 Rest in a Sleeper Berth,'' Insurance     associated with split sleeper
 Institute for Highway Safety, October    berth use and that the quality
 1987. Revised February 1988. http://     and quantity of sleep obtained
 www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/     in the sleeper berth was less
 administration/rulemakings/final/05-     than that obtained when
 16498-HOS-Final-Rule-8-25-05.htm.        sleeping at home.
Dingus, et al, ``Impact of Sleeper       Concluded that sleeping in a
 Berth Usage on Driver Fatigue,''         moving vehicle impaired the
 NHTSA, 2002. FMCSA-2004-19608-1994.      quality of rest.\3\
Pilcher, JJ and Huffcutt, Al. ``Effects  Found that a single, longer
 of sleep deprivation on performance: a   sleeping period was more
 meta-analysis.'' Pubmed.gov, May1996.    refreshing that splitting
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/     sleep into multiple shorter
 8776790.                                 periods and that fatigue and
                                          micro sleeps were more likely
                                          when an individual experienced
                                          disturbed sleep.

    Most of these studies shown in Table 2 have findings that are 
potentially outdated due to advances in methods of conducting studies 
as well as advances in the understanding of fatigue, fatigue 
management, and how different sleep patterns affect performance and 
fatigue. More recent studies provide overwhelming documentation that 
the circadian rhythm affects fatigue far more than splitting sleep 
does, and that splitting sleep may be more beneficial than sleeping in 
a single day time period only. A literature review published by 
Belenky, et al in 2008 provides a strong case for conducting this pilot 
program, despite the earlier findings shown in Table 2. This literature 
review furthermore addresses the majority of publications mentioned in 
Table 2 with respect to why the subject of split sleep should be 

    \3\ Note that study is only relevant to driver's who participate 
in team driving scenarios, since this is the only situation where 
the vehicle can be moving while a driver is in the sleeper berth.

IV. Pilot Program Requirements

    Specific requirements for pilot programs are found in Subparts D 
and E of 49 CFR part 381. A pilot program is a study in which 
participants are given exemptions from one or more provisions of the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for up to 3 years to 
gather data to evaluate alternatives or innovative approaches to 
regulations, while ensuring that an equivalent level of safety is 
    A pilot program must include a program plan that incorporates the 
following six elements:
    (1) A scheduled duration of three years or less;
    (2) A specific data collection and safety analysis plan that 
identifies a method of comparing the safety performance for motor 
carriers, CMVs, and drivers operating under the terms and conditions of 
the pilot program, with the safety performance of motor carriers, CMVs, 
and drivers that comply with the regulation;
    (3) A reasonable number of participants necessary to yield 
statistically valid findings;
    (4) A monitoring plan to ensure that participants comply with the 
terms and conditions of participation in the pilot program;
    (5) Adequate safeguards to protect the health and safety of study 
participants and the general public; and
    (6) A plan to inform the States and the public about the pilot 
program and to identify approved participants to

[[Page 26236]]

enforcement personnel and the general public. (49 CFR 381.500)
    At the conclusion of each pilot program, the FMCSA will report to 
Congress the findings and conclusions of the program and any 
recommendations it considers appropriate, including suggested 
amendments to laws and regulations that would enhance motor carrier, 
CMV, and driver safety and improve compliance with the FMCSRs. (49 CFR 

V. Structure of the Pilot Program

    The purpose of this pilot program is to examine whether regulatory 
flexibility related to the sleeper berth provision could be used to 
improve driver rest and alertness. Currently, any interstate driver who 
(1) operates a property-carrying CMV equipped with a sleeper berth, and 
(2) uses the sleeper berth provision, must take at least 8 consecutive 
hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either 
in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two, before 
returning to on-duty status. The pilot program would give participating 
drivers a temporary exemption from this requirement for consolidated 
sleeper berth time, within parameters specified by the Agency. For 
study purposes, drivers would be allowed to split their sleep into no 
more than two sleeper berth segments. Current regulations allow drivers 
to use one 10 hour period, or splits of 9 and 1 hours or 8 and 2 hours. 
Drivers operating under the exemption for this study would be allowed 
to use any combination of split sleeper periods, totaling 10 hours, 
with neither period being less than 3 hours,\4\ allowing for the driver 
to use splits of 3 and 7 hours, 4 and 6 hours, or two 5 hour periods. 
Following study enrollment, drivers would be able to use split or 
consolidated sleep schedules as they choose (within study parameters), 
but they must still meet the daily minimum rest requirements.

    \4\ Note that if a driver has one period which is less than 3 
hours, they are in compliance with current rules and therefore not 
driving under the exemption.

    This pilot program would recruit CDL drivers who operate a CMV 
equipped with a sleeper berth and who regularly use the sleeper berth 
provision. The study group would include drivers from small, medium, 
and large carriers, as well as team drivers and owner-operators. To 
ensure statistical significance, approximately 200 study group 
participants are desired. Each participating driver would be 
recommended, but not required, to complete the Driver Education Module 
(Module 3) and Driver Sleep Disorders and Management Module (module 8) 
of the NAFMP before data collection starts to ensure participants are 
aware of the risks of driving fatigued and have tools available to 
manage their fatigue throughout the study. Drivers will be asked 
whether or not they chose to complete these modules, or whether they 
had completed them prior to study application.
    Participating carriers that meet the eligibility criteria, as 
described later in this notice, may assist in recruiting study group 
drivers. Drivers will be enrolled in the study contingent upon approval 
from their carrier, as applicable (owner-operators will not need to 
meet this requirement).
    The pilot program would also collect driver identification details 
and data on sleep, safety-critical events (SCEs), subjective sleepiness 
ratings, and behavioral alertness for up to a 90-day period per driver.

VI. Management of the Pilot Program

    FMCSA has designated a project manager for the pilot program. 
Participating carriers would be publicly announced. FMCSA would develop 
the applications, agreements, and forms to be used by interested 
carriers and potential study group members.
    Eligibility requirements and procedural matters are discussed in 
Sections VII and VIII of this notice.

VII. Eligibility Criteria To Participate

A. Motor Carriers
    Motor carriers who have drivers participating in the pilot program 
must meet the following requirements:
     Grant permission for drivers to participate in the 
Flexible Sleeper Berth Pilot Program.
     Agree to comply with all pilot program procedures, which 
will be established and made available in written form to carrier-
applicants prior to initiation of the pilot program.
     Grant permission for researchers to install an onboard 
monitoring system (OBMS) and/or electronic logging device (ELD) in each 
participating driver's vehicle throughout the study duration.
     Grant permission for drivers participating in the study to 
operate under the flexible sleeper berth exemption, as well as an 
exemption allowing participating drivers to maintain two hours of 
service logs (the study-provided ELD system will be the only way to 
properly track flexible sleeper berth hours of service).
B. Study Group Drivers
    In order to participate in the Flexible Sleeper Berth Pilot 
Program, drivers must meet the following eligibility requirements:
     Be at least 21 years of age when the pilot begins.
     Operate a CMV equipped with a sleeper berth and regularly 
use the sleeper berth.
     Have a valid CDL.
     Be medically fit for duty (have a medical certificate that 
is valid throughout the period of participation).
     Have carrier approval for participation in the study 
(unless driver is an owner-operator).
     May not be a slip-seat driver who shares use of the same 
truck or truck-tractor with another driver(s) during separate periods 
such as shifts, days, or weeks.
     May not drive outside of the United States.
     Agree to the release of specific information \5\ to FMCSA 
for purposes of the pilot.

    \5\ Information will be specified by the time drivers apply to 
participate. Collection of specified information must be approved 
prior to initiation of pilot program.

     Agree to study procedures,\6\ including the use of ELDs 
and camera-based OBMSs.

    \6\ Procedures will be specified by the time drivers apply to 
participate. Specific procedures must be established and approved 
prior to initiation of the pilot program.

VIII. Process To Apply To Participate

A. Motor Carriers
     Visit the pilot program Web site 
(www.sleeperberthstudy.com) and complete an electronic application with 
screening questionnaire, which will request the following details, at a 
minimum: Name, carrier information, company name, job title, carrier 
size, and whether the carrier's drivers have previously completed the 
NAFMP (specifically modules 3 and 8). The carrier must grant permission 
for OBMS and/or ELD equipment to be temporarily installed in the 
vehicles of participating drivers, and for drivers to use the study-
provided ELD system for recording HOS during the period of data 
collection (up to 90 days).
     The carrier's representative must acknowledge that driver 
data to include OBMS video, driving data, sleep data, performance data, 
and caffeine data must remain confidential and will not be shared with 
the company. The exception to this is ELD data for properly recording a 
driver's HOS.

[[Page 26237]]

B. Study Group Drivers
     Visit the pilot program Web site 
(www.sleeperberthstudy.com) and complete an electronic application and 
screening questionnaire, which will request the following details, at a 
minimum: Name, contact information, MEC expiration date, CDL status, 
typical operation type (solo, team, or slip seat), location of their 
home terminal, whether they regularly drive a truck equipped with a 
sleeper berth, whether they regularly use their sleeper berth, whether 
they have previously completed modules 3 and 8 of the NAFMP, and 
whether they currently use paper or electronic HOS logs.
     Participate in a phone call with a member of the research 
team to confirm interest and eligibility.
     Obtain carrier permission to participate (unless the 
individual is an independent owner operator).
     Provide written, informed consent after a briefing session 
on data collection techniques and methods.

VIII. Data Collection Plan

    Details of the data collection plan for this pilot program are 
subject to change based on comments to the docket and further review by 
analysts. Factors to be collected from each participating carrier and 
driver before the pilot program begins are discussed in Section VII of 
this notice. Participating drivers will drive an instrumented vehicle 
(instrumented by the research team with a study-provided OBMS and 
custom ELD) for up to 90 days. During a pre-study briefing, 
participants will receive a study-provided smartphone (installed with a 
variety of data collection applications), as well as a wrist actigraphy 
device.\7\ Participants whose vehicles are not already equipped with a 
compatible ELD will be provided with an approved ELD application 
(installed on the study-provided smartphone). At a minimum, FMCSA will 
gather the following data during the study:

    \7\ Participants will wear wrist actigraphy devices (similar to 
commercially available smart fitness watches) throughout their time 
in the study. Actigraphy is a minimally obtrusive, validated 
approach to assessing sleep/wake patterns.

     ELD data, to evaluate duty hours and timing, driving hours 
and timing, rest breaks, off-duty time, and restart breaks.
     OBMS data, to evaluate driving behaviors, SCEs (crashes, 
near-crashes, and other safety-related events), reaction time, fatigue, 
lane deviations, and traffic density (as discerned from viewpoints of 
the multiple cameras), road curvature, and speed variability.
     Roadside violation data (from carriers and drivers, as 
well as the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS)), 
including vehicle, duty status, hazardous materials, and cargo-related 
violations (contingent upon inspections).
     Wrist actigraphy data, to evaluate total sleep time, time 
of day sleep was taken, sleep latency, and intermittent wakefulness.
     Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) \8\ data, to evaluate 
drivers' behavioral alertness based on reaction times.

    \8\ For this study, drivers will be required to complete daily 
iterations of a brief PVT, a 3-minute behavioral alertness test 
which measures drivers' alertness levels by timing their reactions 
to visual stimuli.

     Subjective sleepiness ratings, using the Karolinska 
Sleepiness Scale,\9\ to measure drivers' perceptions of their fatigue 

    \9\ The KSS is a 9-point Likert-type scale ranging from 
``extremely alert'' to ``extremely sleepy'' and has been widely used 
in the literature as a subjective assessment of alertness.

     Sleep logs, in which drivers will document when they are 
going to sleep, when they wake up, and whether they are using the 
sleeper berth. For split-sleep days, drivers will record how and why 
they chose to split their sleep.
Other information that may be needed will also be collected through the 
participating carrier. Every effort will be made to reduce the burden 
on the carrier in collecting and reporting this data.

IX. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The pilot program will require participating motor carriers to 
collect, maintain, and report to FMCSA certain information about their 
drivers who are participating in the pilot program. This will include 
identifying information and safety performance data for use in 
analyzing the drivers' safety history. The Agency will develop forms to 
promote uniformity in the data collected by the pilot carriers.
    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) 
prohibits agencies from conducting information collection (IC) 
activities until they analyze the need for the collection of 
information and how the collected data will be managed. Agencies must 
also analyze whether technology could be used to reduce the burden 
imposed on those providing the data. The Agency must estimate the time 
burden required to respond to the IC requirements, such as the time 
required to complete a particular form. The Agency submits its IC 
analysis and burden estimate to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) as a formal information collection request (ICR); the Agency 
cannot conduct the information collection until OMB approves the ICR.
    Because certain aspects of this pilot program--such as the content 
of forms and reports--have not been finalized, the Agency is not 
posting possible IC burden data at this time. When the pilot program is 
implemented, this information will be posted and additional comments 
will be taken.

X. Removal From the Program

    FMCSA reserves the right to remove any motor carrier or driver from 
the pilot program for reasons related, but not limited to, failure to 
meet all program requirements.

XI. Request for Public Comments

    Instructions for filing comments to the public docket are included 
earlier in this notice. FMCSA seeks information in the following areas, 
but responses need not be limited to these questions:
    1. Are any additional safeguards needed to ensure that the pilot 
program provides a level of safety equivalent to that without the 
consolidated sleeper berth time exemption?
    2. Should completion of modules 3 and 8 of the NAFMP be required 
for study participation (instead of recommended)?
    3. Are the data collection efforts proposed for carriers and 
drivers so burdensome as to discourage participation?
    4. How should data collection efforts differ for team drivers?

    Issued on: May 31, 2017.
Daphne Y. Jefferson,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-11642 Filed 6-5-17; 8:45 am]

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